The amount of stress built up in preparing, experiencing, and recovering from a natural disaster can be a difficult feat to overcome.
Hurricane Sandy has left thousands of Americans in its path at a loss; a loss of power, a home, or a loved one. Dealing with the anxiety left behind can be overwhelming, but you are not alone. Mental health experts believe that this type of emotional distress is common and even healthy.
Richard Heaps, a clinical psychologist and professor at Brigham Young University, believes the grief experienced after a disaster is a normal emotional behavior.
“It’s OK to mourn losses,” Heaps said. “It’s not an abnormal reaction, but healthy and appropriate.”
Heaps and his colleague Melissa Bryner, the director of Terrorism and Disaster Programs at the UCLA/Drake University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress provide steps on managing stress after a disaster.
1. Stay connected to others-Heaps and Bryner believe that it is best to avoid isolating yourself by staying connected to other people. When dealing with such strong emotions, they recommend finding comfort in relationships rather than withdrawing. When worrying about family members and friends, they advise that you maintain consistent contact to feel assured that they are okay. Regular contact can be as convenient as sending a text message or using social media.
2. Operate self-care and get back to a routine-Bryner strongly recommends taking the time to rest before jumping back into a hectic work schedule. They believe overworking can often suppress and mask the emotional stress. This involves eating well and getting enough sleep. Heaps and Bryner also suggest getting back into old routines that can help you move forward.
3. Tell your story– The experts said that telling your story to friends and family orally or through the written word can provide healing. They believe that talking or journaling about the experience can develop understanding which aids the moving on process.
4. Honor other ways of coping- While one method of coping may ease or speed the healing process for you, the experts recognize that it may not work for another. Heaps and Bryner believe each individual reacts and responds differently to disasters therefore their process of coping will be just as unique. They also find that the grieving period may vary among people.
5. Limit disaster exposure–Even though there are constant updates and stories about the disaster, Heaps and Bryner suggest limiting the amount of time used watching the news, posting pictures, or reading social media posts about the events. They find that it has the tendency to open old wounds that can stifle the healing process.
6. Discover and practice meditation-When a moment seems to be overwhelming or the anxiety starts to build, Heaps and Bryner suggest using meditation methods such as deep breathing or praying that can have calming effects. They also recommend using music or self-talking to assure yourself that things are OK now and you are safe.
7. Extend a helping hand-Heaps and Bryner believe providing service to others can be a therapeutic activity. They feel that helping someone else move forward can also aid your own progress.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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